Energy from the Atmosphere

Water is essential for the preservation of life. While we tend to think of water in it's drinkable forms, the air above us holds vast reserves of water. Water exists in a variety of forms such as ice and steam. Whenever there is a transformation in the physical property of water there is energy released which can be available for reuse.

Proactive Utilization of Natural Light


21st. Century Museum of Contemporary Art

Architectural Design Seijima Kazuyo + Nishizaki Ryuue
Location Hirosaka,Kanazawa,Ishikawa
floors 2 floors +2 basements
Total floor space 17,363.71(Museum)
Purpose Museum
Opened 9th October 2004


Natural light from the sun varies greatly depending on the time and season. The available natural light in summer and winter does not occur with any regularity. These variations in natural light are apparent in the exhibition space, and we wanted to create a exhibition space that reflected these changes. This was the fundamental approach for the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art.

Simply put, natural light is utilized, working in harmony with nature. Particularly, in consideration of Asian dust (spring dust falls from desert sand sporadically blown over from Mongolia and China) and the winter build up of snow in the Kanazawa region, full surface top lights are not really suitable with the accompanied loss in air-conditioning energy. However this can be resolved by utilizing active lighting. Based on a model, lighting rate data and weather data was collected and a lighting simulation was carried out to determine the size of the top light required and a lighting method that satisfied these two contrasting elements.

Proactive Utilization of Natural Light
While variations in natural lighting are utilized in the Exhibition Room, it is necessary to use to maintain suitable lighting levels together with artificial lighting for any exhibitions held on cloudy days in winter or at sunset. So a sensor has been installed in the Exhibition Room unit, and when the illumination is lower than the settings it is controlled with artificial lighting and the illumination settings are maintained with an automatic system.
Commonly used daylight tone fluorescent lamps are utilized at various points, in harmony with natural light. Furthermore, to control energy consumption, UV reducing tubes were fitted to 3 band Hf fluorescent lights that have a higher output (4,950lm) than the standard lamps (2,450lm) which have until recently been used in museums, and power consumption has been cut by around 50% (repeat employment is feasible).


Comfortable Atrium/Hall Environment


Kitakata Town Lifelong Learning Center "Kirara"

structure RC、partial SRC
floors 1basement floor & 2floora above ground
Building area 1,668.55㎡
Total floor space 4,494.91㎡
Purpose Lifelong study center


★Outlet and intake switchover
Cooling is provided from openings above the stage, and exhausted through openings in the seating area. Conversely, heating is provided from the seating area outlets and exhausted through the outlets above the stage. Unevenness in temperatures was controlled by not going against the natural convection generated by differences in temperature. Cold air and warm air can be circulated efficiently resulting in energy saving. Furthermore when the air-conditioning is running, cold drafts can be controlled by the use of openings in the floor.

★Prevention of high-humidity conditions
Control of the air conditioner unit's coil bypass was introduced as a measure against high humidity deterioration in the sensible heat factor. When the temperature in the seating area rises above the temperature set point, by opening a three-way valve all the way, coil super-cooled air and air which has bypassed the coil are mixed and vented, in order to prevent further increases in humidity.


★Panel Cooling for a Station Building
The platform area in an underground railway has a unique heat-load made up of the heat generated by the running of the trains, air conditioning exhaust heat, and wind from the trains.
For this unique space, an air conditioning system featuring natural ventilation and panel cooling system was installed to meet requirements with regard to energy conservation and a comfortable environment , and which blended in with the architecture.